28 Jan 2010

Andrew Wakefield Verdict- Guilty

The General Medical Council has ruled that Andrew Wakefield, one of autism's most notorious False Prophets and quintessential brave maverick doctor is guilty of having "showed a callous disregard" for the suffering of children and has "abused his position of trust."

According to The Guardian's report:

Wakefield also acted dishonestly and was misleading and irresponsible in the way he described research that was later published in the Lancet medical journal, the GMC said. He had gone against the interests of children in his care, and his conduct brought the medical profession "into disrepute" after he took blood samples from youngsters at his son's birthday party in return for payments of £5.

The doctor, who was absent from today's GMC hearing, faces being struck off the medical register. The panel decided the allegations against him could amount to serious professional misconduct, an issue to be decided at a later date.

It's a damning verdict. This man should be ashamed of how terribly he has used autistic children to make a name for himself. He cares more for the adoration of the deluded and confused who flock around him at the autism quack conferences like he's Jo Jonas or something thinking his use of their children means he cares or can help. No one should let this man anywhere near their children, autistic or not. He has caused a shit storm of harm to autistic people by leading the troops describing the condition as vaccination damage, with all the negative rhetoric they propagate. Thousands of parents were confused by the reporting of his crappy paper and his lack of dignity and honesty in refusing to admit that it was a fair cop even when it came out in public that he'd totally fixed his results. He is responsible for so many people choosing to avoid vaccinating their children; the subsequent rise in measles cases caused death and disability in children when it could have been avoided.


AnnB said...

I hope justice is seen to be done here. I was one of the fools who believed him and delayed vaccinating my child. Fortunately, I came to my senses but I am still seeing cases of measles cropping up from time to time. I can't believe I was taken in by it.

Sharon McDaid said...

Ann, you're no fool! None of the people who believed this are or were. Andrew Wakefield published in a respected journal and no one could have imagined he'd put self interest so much before the health of children round the world that he'd falsify his data and hide the fact that he was in the pay of a lawyer representing children suing the government for vaccine damage. Then even when many studies were carried out that failed to show any link, and when no compelling reason for a link was found, many in the media continued to hype the story and lie outright to their readers about some vast conspiracy and teh horrid autism that would steal your child's very soul if you allowed them to get their jabs.

leila said...

Your comparison to Joe Jonas is hillarious. Unfortunately his celebrity status and groupies within the DAN movement will still go on because the biomed folks refuse to see the truth for themselves.

Sharon McDaid said...

@Leila, Autism Diva (miss her, sniff sniff) used to call him Doctor Dreamy. He's so adored! Hear his supporters today claim that their hero has been conspired against by a greedy and uncaring medical establishment. Gah.

They've supported him and his discredited theories for so long and have invested so much that they can't give up now and face that they've been hoodwinked by a total charlatan all these years.

Liz Ditz said...

One of my blogging habits is to collate pro and con posts on a particular issue. One reason to do is that each blog has its own set of commenters and often the comments reveal aspects of the issue previously not considered elsewhere.

Today's issue is the UK's General Medical Council's ruling on Andrew Wakefield.

I've included this post in the list.

The list can be found at


Sharon, I think you read blogs I don't -- I'm using Google to find posts. Please feel free to add any (either in support of Wakefield or happy with the decision) to the comments at the post above and I will promote them to the post proper.

And thanks for the reminder about "Dr. Dreamy"

Sharon McDaid said...

Nice one Liz. It's hard to believe and anyone could still write in support of the lying, callous cheat.

Robert said...

Being struck off is way to good for this guy. He should be incarcerated. He made people think of autism as an avoidable disease, and the NHS has been treating kids with complications related to measles - totally avoidable problems - instead of kids who have unavoidable problems.

Unknown said...

Hi I hope you dont mind but I would just like to say how poor your judgements on Dr Wakefield are and for a blog regarding autism I am truely amazed that you are helping to perpetuate a long list of lies and wrongs against Dr Wakefield.
Here are a couple of facts for you, so that maybe you will start printing documented fact as opposed to deliberate false information that has led to his public discredit.
Dr Wakefield was originally discredited by a reporter by the name of Brian Deer. He contacted Dr Richard Horton the editor of the Lancet (which originally printed Wakefields findings in 1998) and provided him with a list of 'issues' with Dr Wakefields findings. He alleged that the trial by Dr wakefield was funded by legal aid - this has been comprehensivley found to be untrue by the general medical council.
Secondly he suggested that the children fodr the study had been sourced by lawyers. - Again this has been found to be entirely untrue. Thirdly Deer claimed that wakefield had kept his association with Dawbarns solicitors (involved with MMR litigation) a secret from
Dr Horton and the Lancet, Dr horton immdiatley stated publically that Dr Wakefields paper was fatally flawed, even though the Horton himself had been made aware via e-mails in 1997 that Dr wakefield was indeed involved with Dawbarns a year earlier than the Lancet published Wakefileds orginal paper.
This all happened in 2004 and since then these 3 false claims by the reporter have started this whole process of discrediting Dr Wakefield and all 3 of those allegations have been found to be utterly untrue and hold NO substance by the general medical council.
I also think it pertinet to note that the original paper by Dr Wakefield actually stated 'We did not prove an association between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the syndrome described … further investigations are needed to examine this syndrome and its possible relation to the vaccine.”

So he didnt even say there was a link!!! Just that extra investigations were needed.
So please get your facts right before continuing this slander against someone who has at worst been unethical in collecting blood samples and performing invasive surgery.
On a seperate note anyone who is not prepared to investigate the link between vacinations and illness in children is clearly not thinking with their own opinion. I urge everyone to search for the FACTS and ingreidiants contained within the vacination before making a decision on whther to vacinate or not.

Sharon McDaid said...

Ddraig1 are you a real person or is someone emulating the worst arguments of an antivaxxer for shits and giggles?

This bit was the most funny: "So please get your facts right before continuing this slander against someone who has at worst been unethical in collecting blood samples and performing invasive surgery."
Ach sure if that's all he did he's a lovely chap indeed. No worries about a few pesky unnecessary surgeries on non-consenting disabled children eh? Pathetic.

Unknown said...

Hi Sharon, no I am an entirley real person who has been fully vacinated.
I can in no way condone what Dr Wakefield has been found guilty of, but, I am savy enough to realise that this is widespread in medical research.

The point I was trying to make is that this man has been vilified, but the reason this started was because of slanderous accusations that have been proved to be false by the very establishment that is now having issues with some of his practice.
I posted my comment because it annoys me when people perpetuate false rumour, for instance your comment that it was on unconsenting disabled children, well for a minor to have surgery consent has to be given.

Anyway back to my main issue, peole should research themselves the dangers or percieved dangers of vacinating or not. They shouldnt just go by the media or other often miss-informed opinion.

Sharon McDaid said...

What Wakefield did is not widespread in medical research. It is not common for doctors to have children undergo invasive and dangerous and painful surgeries with neither very good reason nor a full and thorough ethics submission. Wakers just didn't bother. The children did not consent; their parents did, and it was not proper consent as the doctors were not justified in their procedures and either misled the parents or if they were honest, the parents didn't care. Whatever happened, it was the children who suffered.

This hearing was not about vaccines and their supposed link to autism. That question has been answered comprehensively by people doing good science, not by journalists.

Your points about Deer's allegations being refuted by the GMC are entirely untrue. The panel found Wakefield;
1) did know about conflict of interest,
2) did omit "correct information about the purpose of the study or the patient population" from the Lancet study,
3) did not arrange invasive procedures on children who were routine referrals to the gastroenterology department,
4) did use a biased selection of patients in his Lancet Paper.

The verdict on whether he will be stripped of his licence to practice and charged with professional misconduct will be revealed later.

Unknown said...

I have tried several times to post new comment but all have failed :(

Sorry Sharon but you are incorrect. All the orginal allegations against Dr Wakefield were proven to have no merit by the GMC and that is fact. The GMC have spent a great deal of time, effort and money in trying to pin some sort of negligence against him and the latest charges I can see no problem with and he should be dealt with accordingly, however, his orginal research never claimed to of found a link between the MMR vaccines and autism, he only suggested extra studies be conducted.
Also when you mention other studies that failed to show a link, did you research who funded that research, as although often difficult to dig out, can be critical in whther any authority should be given to their findings.
I can see you are very passionate about the worth and effectiveness of vaccines, however, I truely believe if you do some quality research into the subject your opinions would have no choice but to be changed.
Also for your information I in know way support or condone Dr Wakefield, but, like I previously said, do not like fasle rumour being used to damage a person or subject.

Barbara said...

Ddraig - what was in question throughout the GMC inquiry was whether the study conducted by Andrew Wakefield fell within the ethical demands of medical research or not. Ethics determine the validity of outcome measures. This judgement by the GMC is not about a person, it's about science and the standards it imposes for the conduct of all research. If the ethical boundaries are not respected, then the research is invalid.
In this case it has been determined that the study was not conducted within acceptable ethical limits, and therefore whatever conclusions/outcomes are said to flow from it cannot have any validity.
Please don't make this into hagiography or a personal issue. It's just a simple matter of determining whether ethical guidelines were followed in order to establish validity and reliability. They weren't. So the study does not have validity or reliability - ie: whatever it said, it just ain't 'true'.

Sharon McDaid said...

Barbara, thank you for your rational and reasonable explanation. I don't think the person who advised me to "do some quality research into the subject [vaccines]" after which my "opinions would have no choice but to be changed" is open to such good sense.

Wonder what s/he thinks constitutes "quality research", reading whale.to perhaps?